A boat carrying 25 people that was traveling between the Indonesian islands of Lombok and Komodo capsized on Saturday after it was damaged in a storm the previous day, forcing those who had been on board to await rescue in the lifeboat. The small boat could not fit everyone, which required others to cling to its sides while wearing life jackets.
While the boat was only about three miles away from the coast when it sank, rough waters prevented the passengers from attempting to swim in that direction. The boat was carrying tourists from Britain, New Zealand, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, as well as several from Indonesia. Following 12 hours of floating around the lifeboat, the 10 people who could not fit swam for six hours to Sangeang, a nearby island.
They reached the island just as the sun was setting, only to find that the island’s volcano was erupting and no one seemed to be nearby. But there were areas on the island that were safe to stay, and they were rescued one day later by a passing boat. They survived by drinking their own urine and eating leaves. “I was really very lucky,” survivor Bertrand Homassel told Agence France-Presse.
The remaining 13 who were on the lifeboat were found two days after the boat sank. The 23 survivors are now recovering, but one man and one woman are still missing, and bad weather has limited the rescue search.
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